A KEY part of a new trunk water main in Glasgow has been completed. 

The section, located beneath a motorway and railway, is part of a multi-million-pound Scottish Water project which will benefit almost one million customers. 

The work was carried out by a state-of-the-art tunnel-boring machine (TBM) which installed a 252-metre-long tunnel and section of water main from Broomloan Road in Ibrox to the north side of Bellahouston Park. 

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Glasgow Times:

The hydraulically-operated TBM worked 24 hours a day and installed the tunnel at a depth of up to 20 metres below ground while thousands of road and rail users went about their daily business undisturbed and largely unaware. 

The tunnel, which goes below the M8, Paisley Road West and the Glasgow-Ayr railway line, is part of more than seven miles of new water mains being installed in a project that will connect Glasgow's area network and the system in Ayrshire to increase resilience and protect supplies for customers.

Glasgow Times:

The construction of the tunnel at Ibrox, which is the biggest of four tunnels being installed, was carried out for Scottish Water partner Caledonia Water Alliance by HB Tunnelling Ltd.

The start of the work was witnessed by three pupils from Ibrox Primary School, located near the projects, who took part in a competition to give the TBM a female name, in accordance with tunnelling tradition. 

Primary five pupil Manha Raheel won the competition and the machine was named Tytana. 

Dominic Flanagan, Scottish Water delivery manager, said: "The installation of this particular part of the new water main using the TBM is arguably the highlight of this project so far and we are delighted to have completed it.

"Everything went well with this very challenging and complex operation and we were really pleased that our guests from Ibrox Primary School FC were able to join us and see the tunnelling start."

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Glasgow Times:

Connecting the water networks will provide a two-way water supply between Milngavie Water Treatment Works (WTW) system which provides water for more than 700,000 people across much of the Glasgow area, and the Bradan WTW system which supplies more than 200,000 customers across much of Ayrshire. 

It will also benefit 50,000 customers in East Renfrewshire. 

The new water main is being installed in the Ibrox, Mosspark, Pollok, Priesthill, Nitshill and Parkhouse areas of Glasgow and will run from Ibrox to a reservoir storage tank in the Parkhouse/Darnley area.

A new pumping station is also being built at Ibrox which will push water to the existing pumping station in Parkhouse/Darnley for onward distribution to Ayrshire. 

The work in the south of Glasgow is the third and final stage of the overall investment which has already delivered improvements in Ayrshire.

Dominic continued: "Linking our supply systems in Glasgow and Ayrshire will ensure that high-quality drinking water can continue to be supplied to current customers and for generations to come.

"The investment in below-ground infrastructure will also support the continued development above ground in communities across these areas and will enable them to continue to grow and thrive."

Jane McKenzie, the project’s communications manager, said: "From the very start of this project, we have done everything possible to minimise any disruption for people like local schools, Rangers FC, local residents and road users.

"We’ve done everything we can to keep them informed and hosting the schoolchildren on-site to see the start of this piece of tunnelling was one of our ways of thanking them for their patience and understanding and was, we hope, an interesting and enjoyable experience for them.

"We know that they too will be pleased to learn of the TBM breakthrough and completion of this key stage of our work."